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What does FSC Certified Mean?

What does it mean when a product, such as our printed art works are FCS certified ? You may have often encountered this certification before as it is not uncommon.

What does the FCS stand for?

The FCS acronym stands for Forest Stewardship Council, they are a non-profit organisation that sets environmental and social standards for the way forestry is ran. 

Why use FCS certified products?

With the environmental crisis upon us, it is very important for use to take care of our trees, which are very important to our survival. They absorb carbon dioxide and cover 30% of the Global Land Area. Therefore using FCS certified paper as an example will ensure that you and the company you are buying from are sourcing it responsibly. This does not only extend to paper but many other things can be FCS certified, next time you buy something that would be made from trees, look for the FCS logo.

What are the FCS's 10 Principles? 

The Forest Stewardship council has created a list of 10 principles or 'rules' for responsibly managing forests. 

  1. Compliance with local laws, regulations etc
  2. Take into account the social and economic wellbeing of workers
  3. Uphold indigenous people's rights
  4. Respect and aid the social and economical situation of local communities
  5. Viably develop around the management unit to ensure long term social and environmental benefits
  6. Ensuring its actions are as environmentally and socially viable as its values
  7. Managing itself in accordance with its objectives and values
  8. Demonstrate that its actions and managements are transparent and in accordance with its values
  9. Maintain and/or enhance the High Conservation Values in the Management Unit through applying the precautionary approach.
  10. Management activities conducted by or for the organisation for the management unit shall be selected and implemented consistent with the organisation’s economic, environmental and social policies and objectives and in compliance with the Principles and Criteria collectively.

These may seem complicated but what they really mean is that the FCS's aims are to be as transparent as possible with its activities which must comply with its core values: social and environmental sustainability.

What does the FCS Label mean?

There are three types of FCS Labels that it uses to describe a product's certification. 

  • The First Certification is 'FSC 100%', it signifies that everything in that product comes from an FCS certified forest and moreover that these products are processed through the FSC transfer system.
  • The Second Certification is 'FSC Mix', it means that it has to contain either some or all of the following: Virgin timber/fibre from an FSC-certified forest, Reclaimed/recycled timber/fibre and/or FSC Controlled Wood
  • The Last Certification they offer is 'FSC Recycled' meaning the product must have at least been be pre-consumer or post-consumer reclaimed. It other words recycled from materials from consumer products or not.